Category Archives: Things to Do in Las Vegas

Old-School Main Street Station Casino Reopens Downtown

It somehow turned out to be the most-anticipated casino reopening coming out of the pandemic, and it was worth the wait.

Downtown’s Main Street Station, owned by Boyd Gaming, reopened on Sep. 8, 2021, after being closed since March 2020.

The drinks were flowing, the quads were bountiful and it was glorious revisiting all the weirdness for which Main Street Station is known, or should be.

Main Street Station

Our fellow OCD sufferers will be relieved to hear they’re working on fixing the neon.

Weird how, you ask?

Well, Main Street Station isn’t your typical Las Vegas casino.

Prior to it being Main Street Station, the hotel was The Park. It was purchased by Bob Snow in 1986, and he spent about $80 million improving the place.

Snow brought a weird a wonderful collection of antiques and oddities to Main Street Station, a collection he’d spent 25 years building. Unfortunately, Snow was a better antique collector than casino operator (at one point, Main Street Station was losing $200,000 a month), and the casino filed for bankruptcy protection in 1992.

Boyd bought Main Street Station in 1993 and wisely chose to keep the casino’s oddities on display.

Our favorite is probably a portion of the Berlin Wall in the men’s restroom.

Where can you eat, drink, gamble and express your disdain for Communism? Main Street!

Don’t have a freak-out, ladies. Security can escort you in when the coast is clear.

Our next favorite bit of weirdness is Winston Churchill’s snooker table, discreetly available for viewing via an unassuming elevator with a “Lift” sign.

If you’re wondering who Winston Churchill is, you probably went to public school in Nevada, which is why we need the lottery.

The helpful brochure highlighting Main Street Station’s Artifacts, Antiques and Artworks has been freshly updated, and we got our hands on it, of course. You’re welcome.

There are fascinating things at every turn, and one could spend a full day seeking out all these oddball discoveries.

These brass doors come from the Kuwait Royal Bank. If you’re wondering what Kuwait is, oh, nevermind.

While not an antique, also keep your eyes peeled for this artwork. We love it. There’s another one just like it at The Cal.

If you think we’re just showing you this because we like it, you don’t know this blog at all.

Casino nerds will, of course, note the dice in this piece of art, pipwise.

LeRoy Neiman was an art person, not a pip person. Opposite sides of the dice should always add up to the number between six and eight.

Such diversions should be augmented by drinking and gambling, of course, and those are in plentiful supply at Main Street Station.

Main Street Station isn’t flashy, but it’s a solid value and one of our favorite places to play downtown.

It was great being back in Main Street Station, and they even made sure we had a winning video poker session. Such thoughtfulness!

We got eight quads in a few hours, including two quad aces and four deuces. We were also dealt quad 10s, and just to show how good we are at video poker, also got a dealt
straight flush.

Video poker, the ultimate game of skill.

The bartenders were awesome at Boar’s Head Bar, and after 20 or so years visiting Main Street Station, we discovered these awesome elephants holding the brass rail at the bar.

Main Street Station is utterly unique, as opposed to the other kinds of unique.

Frequent visitors to Main Street Station will notice some changes, including fewer table games. About half of the games have been removed, replaced with electronic games. This is an increasingly common cost-saving measure, as we’ve covered extensively.

Main Street Station’s table game minimums are still some of the best around, with $10 minimums on most table games. Main Street still offers player-friendly 20x odds on craps.

We were surprised to see there was no roulette table.

Main Street Station

We trust Amazon will be delivering additional machines for this area shortly.

Another change at Main Street Station is its coin machines are gone. Another Boyd casino, Fremont casino, removed its coin machines in Oct. 2020. A third Boyd casino downtown, The Cal, still has coin machines. El Cortez is about the only other downtown casino with coin machines, unless you count Sigma Derby at The D.

Fun fact: On The Strip, hit Circus Circus for coin machines if you enjoy getting your hands dirty.

Other changes at Main Street Station include the hours of operation of its restaurants.

On the bright side, and to everyone’s surprise, the Garden Court buffet is back. It’s open daily 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for brunch ($18.99) and Friday/Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for dinner ($25.99).

Easily the most comely buffet waiting area in Las Vegas.

The popular Triple 7 restaurant was packed on reopening night, possibly because it also has a brewery on-site. And poke, whatever that might actually be. See the menu here.

Triple 7 is open 5:00 p.m. to midnight, Thursday through Monday only. We trust that could change based upon demand.

Triple 7 Main Street

Hearty eats and fresh brews, also known as slot fuel.

It’s worth noting, parking isn’t free as was the case for a long time. Out front, a surface lot costs $5 per hour with a $25 per day maximum. Self-parking in the garage is a flat $10 Monday through Thursday, $20 Friday and Sunday, with the first 30 minutes free.

Parking is free for Emerald and Sapphire tier level members of the loyalty club. Main Street Station will also validate for “Dining & Gaming Guests.” That means free parking if you spend $20 or more at a restaurant or earn at least 20 tier credits or more in the casino.

Given Main Street’s challenging location, paid parking is a bold move.

Overall, Main Street Station is just as you remember it.

The customers are mostly visitors from Hawaii, the staff is friendly and it’s a wildly different experience from a typical Strip casino.

You won’t find an ultraclub or Cirque show at this downtown gem, but Main Street Station is Las Vegas the way we like it best.

Quiet, cheap, quirky and gambling is still very much king.

Circa Las Vegas Offers Bigass $10,000 Prize for Best Vegas Vickie Costume

Circa was gracious enough to confirm out scoop the resort will offer a bigass prize in a Halloween costume contest.

The downtown casino will give a $10,000 prize for dressing up like Vegas Vickie, the iconic neon sign that sits in the center of Circa.

Vegas Vickie

Vegas Vickie is the ultimate Las Vegas eye candy.

Do we ever write stories about Halloween costume contests? Not really.

1) It’s a slow news day. 2) Did we mention this is Vegas Vickie? 3) Did we mention the prize is $10,000? 4) And did we mention we’re available to be a judge because cleavage?

The costume contest will feature an “esteemed panel of local celebrity judges,” so we’re definitely out.

The judges will “select the most creative and show-stopping Vegas Vickie lookalike.” Contestants are encouraged to “incorporate neon elements into their interpretation of this sassy blonde lady.”

Here, we’ll save you some time.

Vegas Vickie, of course, used to watch over Fremont Street, adorning the skeevy Glitter Gulch strip club. See photos, below.

Greg and Derek Stevens saved Vegas Vickie when Glitter Gulch was demolished to build Circa, and she was restored at great expense.

Vegas Vickie

Please grow up so we don’t have to.

Local sign company YESCO did the restoration.

We did an interview with a YESCO rep, and confirmed exclusively Vegas Vickie was “enhanced” during the overhaul. Boobwise, in case that weren’t readily apparent.

Vickie at YESCO during her restoration. Hey, who hasn’t had some work done in Vegas?

Fun fact: Vegas Vickie has been married twice to her counterpart, Vegas Vic.

Vegas Vickie is 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide.

While Vickie’s leg originally kicked, but hadn’t done so for years before it was restored. Now, it kicks again.

Vegas Vickie is an absolute stunner, and a must-see photo op in Las Vegas.

Circa has made the most of Vegas Vickie, and she’s everywhere at the casino, as well as being in magnet form on our personal fridge.

Fremont Street has lots of collectible cups, this is one of our favorites.

One of the best views of Vegas Vickie is from the Vegas Vickie Lounge, mainly due to there being excellent cocktails in the vicinity.

Lots of people incorrectly referred to Vegas Vickie as Sassy Sally due to her proximity (about a block away) to that casino on Fremont Street at one time.

Vegas Vickie’s name has been spelled a variety of ways, including Vicki and Vicky, but we put a stop to that when we corrected it in Wikipedia.

Glitter Gulch

The Golden Goose was saved, too, and now nests on Fremont East. Read more.

“Vegas Vicki” was originally a hostess position in the Pioneer Club, back when Vegas was both rootin’ and tootin.’

So, this has all pretty much been a excuse to talk about Vegas Vickie, because we visit Circa fairly frequently and she wows us every time we’re there.

We’d go for the $10,000 costume contest prize, but we hate having to shave, and that goes double for our legs.

Everything You Need to Know About MSG Sphere in Las Vegas

It’s a wonder of technology and it’s being built in Las Vegas.

It’s called MSG Sphere, at least for the moment. (Expect a naming rights deal at some point.)

This $1.8 billion performance venue is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and it’s scheduled to
open in 2023.

MSG Sphere

It may not look like much now, but give it a minute.

The road to making the MSG Sphere a reality hasn’t been bump-free, but builder Madison Square Garden Entertainment believes the new venue will mark a techtonic shift in live entertainment, and if that’s going to happen anywhere, it has to happen in Las Vegas.

The MSG Sphere is located just off the Las Vegas Strip, just east of the Venetian and Palazzo.

Best. Aquarium. Ever.

Here’s an awesome video that shows why the MSG Sphere is so special, and what’s in store when it opens.

Some fun facts about MSG Sphere:

googie The Sphere will be 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide at its widest point.

googie The fourth largest crawler crane in the world, the DEMAG CC-8800, was used to build the Sphere. The crane took 18 days to assemble.

googie The Sphere will have 17,500 seats.

googie It will have the highest resolution screen in the world at 19,000 by 13,500 pixels. That’s 100 times clearer than today’s best HD TVs.

In a town built upon sensory stimulation, MSG Sphere is bringing what’s next.

googie The screen covers an area larger than three football fields.

googie The outside of the Sphere will have about 600,000 square feet of programmable lighting.

googie The venue will use an acoustic system utilizing “beamforming” technology, with 157,000 ultra-directional speakers.

googie The Sphere will also feature an infrasound haptic system enabling audiences to feel the sound.

googie The Sphere’s dome alone weighs 13,000 tons and has a surface area of 220,000 square feet.

The Sphere’s top will soon be augmented, which is the law in Las Vegas.

googie The dome uses six million pounds of steel.

googie An idential Sphere is planned for Stratford, East London, but is expected to be far less interesting because that one’s not in Las Vegas.

googie A 1,000-foot pedestrian bridge will connect the sphere to the Sands Expo (to be called the Venetian Expo as of Sep. 1, 2021).

There will be a quiz.

Just when you think you’ve seen everything in Las Vegas, Las Vegas makes more to see!

And in the case of MSG Sphere, more to hear, too.

Whatever anyone (including us) might say about the challenges of building (like contractor drama) or paying for The Sphere (the original cost was supposed to be $1.2 billion), there’s no denying the Sphere is an engineering wonder and will likely be a huge draw when it debuts.

We’ll be in attendance at the unveiling, so be there orb be square!

Evel Knievel Museum Making the Jump to Las Vegas

A museum devoted to daredevil and occasional asshat Evil Knievel is moving from Topeka to Las Vegas.

The museum will reportedly be located in downtown’s Art’s District (1001 S. 1st Street), courtesy of Las Vegas developer J. Dapper, who seemed like a cool guy that time we met him. Hear more from Dapper on the Plaza’s podcast.

While the deal for the museum’s move, first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, isn’t finalized, it’s being described as “imminent.”

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel still holds the Guinness World Record for most bones broken in a lifetime, 433.

Evel Knievel, of course, was a pop culture icon who thrilled audiences around the world during his heyday in the 1970s.

We love Evel Knievel most for two things: 1) He jumped (sorry, attempted to jump) the fountains at Caesars Palace. 2) He died at age 69.

Reminder: If jokes about death or 69 offend you, you’re reading the wrong blog.

Evel Knievel had many successful jumps, but his fame was largely based upon spectacular fails.

His last big jump was supposed to be in 1977, where he would jump over a tank of sharks for a T.V. special. During rehearsals, he crashed (shocker) and was injured. This sad final hurrah led to the phrase “jumped the shark,” along with Fonzi’s jump on “Happy Days.”

The Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas opened in 2017.

We trust it has lasted so long because what the hell else do people have to do in Topeka, Kansas?

Las Vegas, of course, is a little different. There are lots of diversions, including a number of world-class museums.

Still, it looks like Dapper’s taking his chances on Evel Knievel and his legacy.

Evel Knievel portrait

Evel Knievel was proof positive gravity can be a jerk.

The museum in Topeka is said to have one of the largest collections of Knievel memorabilia anywhere.

The museum features all manner of Knievel goodies, including his battered costumes and helmets, Knievel-branded products (at one point, the guy was on everything) and even the steam-powered rocket used in his doomed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon.

Like so many of our heroes, Knievel was seriously flawed, some would say irredeemably. He was investigated for any number of shady acts, he was a tax dodger, assaulted a movie studio executive with a baseball bat and was reportedly an anti-Semite.

Las Vegas, however, is pretty good at compartmentalizing. For example, we glamorize killers like Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Tony Spilotro and Benny Binion.

In fact, there’s already an homage to Evel Knievel in the form of a pizza restaurant, Evel Pie, on Fremont Street.

Evel Pie

Fun fact: Evel Pie doesn’t serve, you know, pie. The pizza, however, is awesome.

Evel Knievel made a lasting impact on our culture, as well as more than a few landing ramps, so we look forward to seeing this new downtown offering when it arrives in Las Vegas.

The museum space will also include a restaurant, which had better mean there will also be a bar. So, yeah, we’re ready to take the leap.

Dude Breaks Record for Eating 20,000 Calorie Burger at Heart Attack Grill

In a town teeming with indulgence, Heart Attack Grill stands out as a symbol of over-the-top excess.

For example, the downtown restaurant serves an Octuple Bypass Burger that clocks in at a staggering 20,000 calories.

Competitive eater Matt Stonie recently smashed the record for devouring this bad boy, with a time of four minutes, 10 seconds.

The previous record was seven minutes, 42 seconds.

Matt Stonie Heart Attack Grill

You say “death wish” like it’s a bad thing.

The new record was witnessed by the controversial owner of Heart Attack Grill, Jon Basso, and about 60 customers. (Basso refers to himself as Dr. Jon, but he’s not a real doctor.)

Heart Attack Grill’s Octuple Bypass Burger features 8.5 beef patties, 40 slices of bacon, 16 slices of cheese, a whole onion, two tomatoes and chili. Plus the buns.

The towering burger weighs a whopping 6.5 pounds, about four pounds of which is the meat.

The Octuple Bypass Burger costs $24.02. The 40 bacon slices cost an additional $7.39. Flatliner Fries, deep fried in pure lard, are a mere $1.85.

For comparison purposes, the Octuple Bypass Burger has about the same amount of calories as 40 Quarter Pounders with cheese from McDonald’s.

Here’s a look at this jaw-dropping feat of mastication.

Watching Stonie demolish this daunting pillar of carbs is mesmerizing.

Stonie, whose nickname is “Megatoad,” has a strong pedigree when it comes to taking on gastronomical challenges.

He’s the number four ranked competitive eater in Major League Eating. Yes, that’s an actual thing.

Stonie’s YouTube channel has 14.6 million subscribers and at least one new fan following his feat at Heart Attack Grill, namely us.

Octuple Bypass Burger

We agree with the restaurant owner. This record won’t be broken again in our lifetime.

The viral video of Stonie’s Octuple Bypass Burger world record is sure to provide some publicity for Heart Attack Grill.

The restaurant, located in downtown’s Neonopolis mall, opened in Las Vegas in 2011. The original location was in Tempe, Arizona, and opened in 2005.

There was an attempt at another Heart Attack Grill location at the Hawaiian Marketplace, but it inexplicably closed after just two months.

Heart Attack Grill Strip

If you blinked, you missed it. We don’t blink.

Heart Attack Grill is known for humorless people trashing it, but also for its weight scale and sign that reads, “Over 350 Pounds Eats Free.”

We are not making this up.

The restaurant’s servers dress in skimpy nurse uniforms and customers don hospital gowns. It’s a whole thing.

Heart Attack Grill is also known for giving guests the option of a spanking if they can’t finish their meal.

Heart Attack Grill has been an easy target for critics, and yes, people have died of actual heart attacks at the restaurant. It literally says “heart attack” in the name of the place. You either get it or you don’t.

Heart Attack Grill

Let’s just say Heart Attack Grill is wired differently.

Big props to Matt Stonie for his dizzying feat! His record was set on July 26, 2021.

Heart Attack Grill isn’t for everyone, but it sort of fits with the irreverent, defiant spirit of Las Vegas.

Just be forewarned, Heart Attack Grill is not for the faint of heart.

Superfrico Restaurant to Open at Cosmopolitan

The demented geniuses at Spiegelworld have announced the replacement for the shuttered Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at Cosmopolitan resort.

It’s a new dining and entertainment concept, Superfrico.

Superfrico, of course, is Italian for “it doesn’t mean anything, really, they made it up and also the domain name was available.”

If Superfrico has one tenth the magic of this one dude in “Opium,” they’ll be a huge success.

Actually, “frico” is north eastern Italian dish consisting mainly of cheese. In one version of the dish, shredded cheese is added to a frying pan until it becomes malleable and crispy. Plus, you know, “super.”

Spiegelworld let the Hollywood Reporter break this news, which we would deeply resent were it not for the fact Spiegelworld tends to kick ass and we can’t wait to see what’s in store at Superfrico.

Superfrico is described as “a fully integrated dining and cocktail concept” and debuts Sep. 24, 2021, along with the return of its neighbor “Opium,” produced by the aforementioned Spiegelworld.

Spiegelworld also produces “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace and “Atomic Saloon” at Venetian.

Atomic Saloon

Any chance to share our photo from “Atomic Saloon,” we’re taking it.

While “Absinthe” is widely regarded as the best show in Las Vegas, according to us the last time we saw “Opium,” the title of “Best Show” may have to be shared.

All the Spiegelworld shows are variety shows with hefty amounts of raunchy comedy. “Opium” wasn’t a strong contender for “Best Show” when it opened, but a good number of changes have been made (including softening its science fiction theme), and it’s utterly mesmerizing.

The strength and originality of “Opium” bodes well for the new restaurant concept, and guests can expect the unexpected.

Superfrico’s “Italian-American-Psychedelic” menu will feature pizza, pasta, steaks, seafood, small plates and “photo-worthy desserts.”

Our pal and Spiegelworld’s head oddball, Ross Mollison (pictured below), says inspiration for Superfrico came from Tokyo’s Robot restaurant. Let’s just say Robot restaurant is all about sensory overload.

Ross Mollison

Producer Ross Mollison throws away more great ideas in a day than most people have in a lifetime.

A unique element of Superfrico will be its overlap with “Opium.”

As the Hollywood Reports relays it, “Superfrico’s interconnected bars, lounges and dining rooms will create a ‘clusterflourish,’ as Mollison puts it, as performers come and go from their dressing rooms to the Opium theater through Superfrico’s kitchen and dining rooms.”

Dibs on Clusterflourish as a band name.

While a previous Spiegelworld effort at Cosmo, “Vegas Nocturne,” ended prematurely (it lasted six months), Superfrico sounds like it could go the distance.

Supper clubs—where food, drinks and live entertainment collide—are all the rage in Las Vegas at the moment, with Delilah opening at Wynn (in the Alex restaurant space) and “Mayfair” replacing Hyde nightclub at Bellagio. The results aren’t in for these venues just yet, but Superfrico could add some critical mass to the trend.

We aren’t a huge fan of live entertainment in restaurants, but Mollison assures the curated “moments” at Superfrico won’t interrupt the flow of the evening.

We hope this artwork, by NYC-based artist Adehla Lee, helps clarify what Superfrico actually is. You’re welcome.

Ultimately, Spiegelworld has earned its stripes in Las Vegas, and we’re up for anything they’re up to.

Spiegelworld exudes creativity, and while Las Vegas has lots of amazing restaurants, not many have bubble blowers, sword swallowers and contortionists in the mix.

Visit the predictably weird-ass official site for Superfrico here. Watch for more teases on the Twitters.

Spiegelworld has the chops to deliver on its promise to shake things up and deliver an experience you can’t find anywhere else.

We can’t wait to give Superfrico a go.